Childhood & Early Life
He was born on June 1, 1947, in Hillingdon, England in a family of English water gypsies or bargees as the youngest of three boys. According to him, members of his generation were first in the family to be born on dry lands.
He is an enthusiast of art and displayed his skills from as early as 3 years of age.
When he was ten, he played his first gig with his father Arthur, who was an amateur musician, with the latter’s ‘Original London Skiffle Group’, held in Uxbridge’s ‘Regal’ cinema.
He was raised in Yiewsley and studied at different schools namely ‘St. Stephen's Infant School’, ‘St. Matthew's Church of England Primary School’ and ‘St Martin's C of E Secondary Modern School’. He later attended ‘Ealing College of Art’ in west London.
His two elder brothers Art and Ted were musicians and graphic artists.
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He began his musical career during his teens in 1964 with a band called ‘The Birds’ as a guitarist. Many recorded songs of the group were written or co-written by him.
After ‘The Birds’ disbanded in 1967, he joined as a bassist in ‘Jeff Beck Group’. Two albums of the band, ‘Truth’ and ‘Beck-Ola’ were released that met with limited success. In between he also performed for a short while with the mod group called ‘Creation’.
He did cameo roles in films such as ‘The Deadly Bees’ (1967) and ‘The Wild Life’ (1984) and in TV programs like ‘The Rutles: All You Need Is Cash’ (1978).
Following the split of ‘Jeff Beck Group’ in 1969, he along with vocalist Rod Stewart left the band and joined a new band called ‘Faces’ that included former members of ‘Small Faces’ namely Kenney Jones, Ian McLagan and Ronnie Lane.
‘Faces’ garnered major success and toured the US and many parts of Europe including the UK and emerged as one of the top-grossing live performers during 1970 to 1975. Notable albums of the group include ‘First Step’ (1970), ‘Long Player’ (1971) and ‘Ooh La La’ (1973).
‘Stay With Me’ and ‘Ooh La La’ were two of the many songs that Wood had co-written for the group. He also contributed vocals, bass and harmonica to the recordings of the band.
As ‘Faces’ began to split, he started to work on solo projects. In 1974 his first solo album ‘I've Got My Own Album to Do’. In collaboration with Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, was released.
His other solo albums were ‘Now Look’ (1975), ‘Gimme Some Neck’ (1979), ‘1234’ (1981), ‘Slide on This’ (1992), ‘Not for Beginners’ (2001) and ‘I Feel Like Playing’ (2010).
After Mick Taylor left ‘Rolling Stones’ in December 1974, Wood accepted Richards’ invitation and participated in the March 1975 recording sessions of the band’s forthcoming album, ‘Black and Blue’. Albeit a ‘Faces’ member, he toured with ‘Rolling Stones’ in 1975.
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In December 1975, ‘Faces’ announced its split and the following February ‘Rolling Stones’ officially declared Wood as a member of the band. Since then he has remained a member of the ‘Rolling Stones’. He received credit for many of the songs of the band including ‘Black Limousine’, ‘Had It With You’, ‘Dance’ and ‘One Hit (to the Body)’.
Notable albums of the band include ‘Black and Blue’ (1976), ‘Tattoo You’ (1981), ‘Bridges To Babylon’ (1997) and ‘A Bigger Bang’ (2005).
Apart from performing as a ‘Rolling Stones’ member, he has also collaborated with artists like Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Prince and Ringo Starr.
He co-authored ‘The Works’ (1988) with Bill German and ‘Ronnie’ (2007) with son-in-law Jack MacDonald and Jeffrey Robinson.
He became a partner in the financial organisation of the ‘Rolling Stones’ in 1990.
He played slide guitar for three tracks and guitar for one for the 1996 album of Bo Diddley titled ‘A Man Amongst Men’.
In 1998, ‘Genesis Publications’ published a limited edition of his art book ‘Wood on Canvas: Every Picture Tells a Story’.
After the release of his album ‘Not for Beginners’ in 2001, he toured during the year and the following with his band the ‘Ronnie Wood Band’ that included his family members Andrea Corr and Slash among others. One of the tour concerts was released on DVD titled ‘Far East Man’, a song he co-wrote with George Harrison.
He floated ‘Wooden Records’, his record company in 2005. The company has released many recordings including his daughter Leah’s and that of ‘New Barbarians’.
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He along with Kenny Jones and Ian McLagan participated in the performance of ‘Faces’ held on October 25, 2009, at the ‘Royal Albert Hall’ in London on behalf of ‘Music Members' Benevolent Fund’ of the ‘Performing Rights Society’.
He presented a one hour radio show on April 9, 2010 on ‘Absolute Radio’, which encompassed his favourite tracks and also tracks of others he has worked with.
He is also an accomplished painter whose paintings found place at ‘London's Drury Lane Theatre’. He co-owns ‘Scream’, one of the London art galleries along with his sons Tyrone and Jamie.
Personal Life & Legacy
From 1971 to 1978 he was married to Krissy, a former model. Jesse is the biological son of the couple.
In 1985, he married Jo Wood with whom he has two biological children, son Tyrone and daughter Leah and also an adopted son Jamie from Jo’s previous marriage.
He left Jo for Ekaterina Ivanova in July 2008 and eventually Jo filed divorce that was granted in 2009.
He faced arrest with charges of assault with regard to a domestic incident on December 3, 2009 and received a warning on December 22, 2009 for his offence.
Wood struggled with his alcoholism and according to 2008 report of ‘ITN’, Wood checked into rehab seven times.
He married Sally Humphreys, owner of a theatre production company and 31 years younger to him, on December 21, 2012. The couple announced on December 7, 2015 that they are expecting twins in June 2016.